***Originally posted on Facebook @Chester Midshipmouse 3/26/20. Update: The midshipmen at USNA are finishing the semester utilizing distance learning, and very sadly, Commissioning Week has been cancelled. Utmost sympathy to the mids and their families who more than earned a grand celebration during their four years “by the bay”.
Four thousand midshipmen who normally live within the walls of Bancroft Hall, affectionately known as “Mother B”, have remained home following Spring break due to the coronavirus, leaving a scant two dozen who remain for various reasons, along with six battalions of…mice. Behind the massive stone walls it is business as usual for the midshipmice as they follow standard procedure for “Procurement” (a class every plebe mouse is required to take). This is the reassurance I provided on a recent USNA Parents Facebook page when someone expressed the concern of their midshipman who had left some oatmeal in his dormitory room. Rations. Chester sends his thanks.
One of the many phrases taught at the Naval Academy is Adapt, Improvise and Overcome. In all seriousness, that is what the brigade of midshipmen is being called upon to do right now.
I leave you with a character study of Bodie on Induction Night. He arrived unused to wearing a uniform and with barnyard manners, which he was soon divested of thanks to some dedicated detailers. It is important to note here that the author had great difficulty in figuring out how to paint mice in trousers, let alone how to paint mice. I am consoled by the words of one of the illustrators of the wonderful Redwall book series who told me that he had Great Difficulty in painting mice and usually placed them in a corner of a scene “eating a scone”. True story. Thankfully I had a talented artist who illustrated Chester Midshipmouse book one. Stay tuned for exciting news regarding who may be illustrating book two!
The important goal for Bodie was to envision him as a new plebe in his unaccustomed white works, eating like a slob (that crunchy morsel was obtained in room 5016, by the way), for which he got in Great Trouble.
Susan Weisberg- Author